Eye-catching transfers have seen Paris Saint-Germain FC's men's team installed as pre-season favourites in France, and the club's women's division are looking to take the league by storm this season as well.
European champions Olympique Lyonnais rule the roost in French women's football, but while PSG finished fourth last term, missing out on a place in the UEFA Women's Champions League, their horizons have been raised this summer. They hired coach Farid Benstiti, fresh from a spell in Russia where he combined leading the national team and winning the league title with WFC Rossiyanka last season. He has had enough time to secure some exciting signings.
Midfielder Kheira Hamraoui, 22, has left AS Saint-Étienne to pen a professional contract at PSG where she will play alongside 18-year-old midfielder Lindsay Horan, who abandoned a college career back in the United States to accept a full-time deal in the French capital. German international midfielder Linda Bresonik and defender Annike Krahn – both world and European champions – have also been enlisted from FCR 2001 Duisburg.
While Élise Bussaglia departed for Lyon in the summer, PSG have lured attacking midfielder Shirley Cruz Traña away from the two-time European champions, with Benstiti also bringing in 17-year-old Allison Blais from En Avant Guingamp. She will link up with her former club-mate Saïda Akherraze, 19, in Paris, where French internationals Laure Boulleau, Sabrina Delannoy, Nonna Debonne, Caroline Pizzala and Léa Rubio have all renewed their contracts.
"It's extraordinary to find yourself at a club that will be among the best in Europe," said Benstiti as he looked ahead to the campaign. "I hope my players will be great ambassadors for PSG."
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